When we choose to perform an activity, we make it a gift

“When we choose to perform an activity, we make it a gift by dedicating our entire body-mind to it, by making it the only task we do in that moment. In that way, all activities are included in one, and all activities are unified. This is how our activity fills the universe, and how we express complete understanding in our work.”

(I don’t remember the source of this quote, but it sounds like something Shunryu Suzuki would say.)

Seeing everything as moving subatomic particles

“Having a direct experience of seeing everything one looks at (including one’s own body) as moving subatomic particles alters the perception of ‘me’ and of the substantiality of what we regard as ‘normal’ reality.”

“The path is the goal” alvin October 12, 2017 - 1:21pm

“The path is the goal.”

~ Gandhi

Let it go (meditate)

In general I try to avoid swearing these days, but sometimes you just need to get your point across. Meditate, let it go ... forgiveness is good for your heart, and good for your soul.*

* Forgiveness doesn’t mean you should be a carpet for others to walk on.

In meditation ... we are not searching ~ Joseph Goldstein alvin October 3, 2017 - 5:53pm

“In meditation ... we are not searching, we are not pulling or probing, we are just sitting and watching.”

~ Joseph Goldstein

Zen: Enlightenment may be for just an instant alvin September 30, 2017 - 4:02pm

If you’re interested in the Land of Enlightenment, it can be important to know that when you read a story about a Zen monk gaining enlightenment, that enlightenment may be for just an instant, not a lifetime. (So don’t feel bad if your moment(s) didn’t last.) This 90-second video explains this.

Zen priest, Harvard researcher explains the secret to a good life alvin September 26, 2017 - 8:31pm

“Living in the midst of conflict is really bad for our health. High-conflict marriages, for example, turn out to be very bad for our health, perhaps worse than getting divorced.”

Zen priest, Harvard researcher, and psychiatrist Robert Waldinger explains the secret to a good life, including three key findings: Social connections are good for humans, loneliness is bad; The quality of your close connections is so important that it’s one of the key indicators of whether you’ll be happy and healthy later in life; Good relationships protect the brain.

Some of the abridged text is here on LionsRoar.com, the full TED talk is here on ted.com.

Zen, mindfulness, and compassion don’t mean “be a wimp” alvin September 25, 2017 - 11:18am

When I first started studying Zen and the Tao, I interpreted many of the quotes I read as “let things be just as they are.” For a while that led to me acting as a doormat, letting other people do as they wished, even treating me poorly. I did that consciously, so even though I was acting like a wimp I didn’t feel like a wimp, I was just trying to practice what I was learning.

After a while I realized that was a wrong approach. Even if I lived in a Zen monastery, it would be wrong to allow someone to bully me.

(more ...)

What is it on this planet that needs doing that I know something about? alvin September 24, 2017 - 8:17pm

“What is it on this planet that needs doing that I know something about, that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?”

This is a quote from the book, Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. (The image comes from this page.)